Semantic Zoom with MVVMLight – Windows 8 Metro

This week I’ve been trying out some Windows 8 Metro development and by doing so I came across something I think will help out other devs.
I wanted to try out one of the key new features that is presented in Windows 8, called Semantic Zoom ( read about/view it here ).

But because of the fact I’m mostly familiar with Windows Phone 7 development, I wanted to use Laurent Bugnion’s MVVMLight framework also on Windows 8. You can get a v4Beta1 version here…

So by doing so, I needed to tweak my code so it would fit nicely with the Semantic Zoom pattern. Let me show you how I did this.

First create a new MVVMLight Project


Than open the Model folder and add a class called Car.cs


And a class called Manufacturer.cs

These 2 classes will define your Group and Items needed for the Semantic Zoom. So for the Zoomed In view we will be presenting all Cars that we have ( grouped by manufacturer ) and in the Zoomed Out view we will show a birds eye overview of all Manufacturers with some general details about the amount of Cars available.

Next thing on our list is adding an ObservableCollection of Manufacturers to the MainViewModel.

Be sure to initiate your data, we will now for this demo do this in the MainViewModel constructor.


Now open up your MainPage.xaml and get rid of the following TextBlock

Put following code into place ( where the textblock was previously set ) to get your title and backbutton

So now we need to add our Semantic Zoom control, do this directly underneath the backbutton and page title xaml


Before we continue we will be adding a CollectionViewSource, this is needed to fill the Item grid later on in the Semantic Zoom control! You place this inside the MainPage.xaml <ResourceDictionary> tag, it should be there already and contain <ResourceDictionary.MergedDictionaries> tag… Take note that it is actually here that we will be binding to our ObservableCollection froml our MainViewModel!


So with this in place we can continue with our ZoomedIn view, all we will be doing is defining visual elements on how we want to structure our data. In our case we will be adding the Manifacturer name as Group header with Car models underneath it, to accomplish this add following xaml inside the <SemanticZoom.ZoomedInView></SemanticZoom.ZoomedInView> tags


Now that the ZoomInView is ready, add following xaml for our ZoomOutView. Now we will again show the Manufacturer name but only with a total Car count underneath it so we can get our birds eye overview! Place the code inside the <SemanticZoom.ZoomedOutView></SemanticZoom.ZoomedOutView> tags


Before we are done we do actually need to add one line of extra code in the MainPage.xaml.cs file! To get the ZoomedOutView working we need to link the groupGridView with the groupedItemsViewSource

So inside the constructor of the MainPage.xaml.cs add following line underneath the this.InitializeComponent(); call

And that’s it… if everything goes well you should have following result



The complete solution can be downloaded here… MvvmLight1

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